Dangerous Goods Transport - Class 1 Explosives

This information bulletin provides information on the transport of explosives on Northern Territory roads, in particular driver licensing and vehicle requirements.

The Australian Code for the Transport of Explosives by Road and Rail 3rd edition (AEC3) sets out the requirements which apply to the transport of explosives of Class 1 by road and rail in Australia.

General requirements for all vehicles

All vehicles used to transport explosives, other than unrestricted explosives must comply with the following requirements:

  • the passenger compartment of a vehicle must not be used for the transport of explosives,
  • when explosives are transported, the explosives must not be accessible from the cabin of the vehicle.
  • the vehicle must be in sound mechanical condition and repair, and
    • in the case of a road vehicle, be roadworthy; or
    • in the case of a rail vehicle, be fit for its purpose and fully maintained;
    • any interior surface of the vehicle in contact with the explosives (as packed) must be clean, in good condition, and free of any defects or projections likely to cause damage to packages during transport;
    • all load securing devices must be in good condition and effective for their designed purposes; and
    • the method of attachment of carry boxes, enclosed vehicle bodies or freight containers must be such that, when loaded, it is capable of withstanding a horizontal force of 2G.

Unrestricted explosives

‘Unrestricted explosives’ means those explosives where no authority is required to possess such explosives; e.g. distress signals, railway track signals, sparklers, party poppers, cartridges for power tools, small model rocket motors, starting pistol caps.

Drivers and vehicle licence requirements

The AEC3 categorises explosives by type and quantity into three risk categories that are applied to the loads of explosives on a vehicle (Table 1). The inherent risk of the explosives being carried increases with each risk category, as do the requirements.

Driver and vehicle licences are required for the transport of explosives where they are transported in a Category 3 (High Risk) quantity.

Driver licence applications – New, Reciprocal and Renewals

To be eligible to apply for a dangerous goods driver licence you must:

  • be a Northern Territory resident
  • held a drivers licence for at least 12 months and preformed 50 hours under the direct supervision of a driver experienced in transporting explosives and licenced in the equivalent class of licence (NEW only)
  • have a medical certificate issued not more than six (6) months before the application is made
  • letter from your employer supporting your practical driving experience, outlining in-house training and experience.
  • legible copy of front and back of current interstate explosive licence (RECIPROCAL Only)
  • criminal history check issued not more than six (6) months before you apply:
    • NEW - Criminal history fingerprint check
    • RENEWAL/RECIPROCAL - Criminal history name check.

Vehicle licence applications – New and Renewal

To apply for a vehicle licence to transport explosives you will need to provide the following information:

  • manufacturer details, including make and model
  • registration number and the State or Territory registered
  • vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • class of explosives to be transported and weight (kg)
  • explosives UN number

Table 1 – Risk Categories for Explosives

Please see notes below for explanation of the bracketed numbers in the table.

Type of Explosives (2)

Quantity per Vehicle (1)


Category 1
(Low Risk)

Category 2
(Moderate Risk)

Category 3
(High Risk)

Division 1.1 A (3)

Transport must be specifically approved by the Competent Authority

Detonators of 1.1B

≤125 items

>125–5000 items

>5000 items

All other Division 1.1




Division 1.2




Division 1.3




Detonators of 1.4B or 1.4S

≤125 items

>125 items

n/a (5)

All other Division 1.4



n/a (5)

All other Division 1.4S (other than Detonators)

Any quantity

n/a (5)

n/a (5)

Division 1.5


>25-250kg (4)

>250kg (4)

Division 1.6



n/a (5)

Caption: Table 1 - Risk Categories for Explosives


  1. Quantity in NEQ, except where otherwise specified.
  2. For mixed loads, the Division and Compatibility Group for the entire load shall be determined as outlined in Section 7.3.2, prior to assigning the appropriate Risk Category to that load.
  3. Transport of explosives of Classification Code 1.1A is to be specifically approved by the Competent Authority.
  4. This applies only for the purposes of Section 8.4, quantities of explosives of Division 1.5 greater than 250kg are considered to be Category 3.
  5. “n/a”– means not applicable.
  6. For transport of Class 5 .1 with Class 1 refer to Sections 2.4(3) and 2.4(4) to determine the risk category.

Additional information


The Australian Code for the Transport of Explosives by Road and Rail 3rd edition (AEC3) can be downloaded at no cost from the Safe Work Australia website www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au.